Dubai benchmark stock index advanced the most in a week on speculation first-quarter earnings will beat expectations and after Air Arabia PJSC raised dividend payments. Saudi stocks fell for a fifth day.
Emaar Properties PJSC, developer of the world’s tallest skyscraper, increased for the first time in almost a week. Air Arabia, the Middle East’s biggest discount airline, rose 1.8 percent. Dubai’s DFM General Index gained 1.3 percent, the most since April 3, to 1,678.40 at the 2 p.m. close in the emirate. The measure had lost 2.7 percent the three days through yesterday. Abu Dhabi’s ADX General Index was little changed.
“Sentiment is generally strong as earnings expectations for some of the big companies, including Emaar, are positive,” said Waleed Al Khateeb, the senior finance manager at Daman Securities in Dubai. “What we previously saw was a minor correction. We still have dividends to look forward to.”
Emaar, the company with the biggest weighting on Dubai’s index, may post this month a 37 percent surge in first-quarter profit to 577 million dirhams ($157 million), according to the median estimate of four analysts on Bloomberg. Emaar gained 0.9 percent to 3.25 dirhams, the first advance since April 4.
Air Arabia’s shareholders approved a 2011 dividend payout of 6 fils a share, higher than the board’s proposal in February for a dividend of 4.5 fils. The shares advanced the most since March 28 to 71.8 fils.
Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index lost 1.9 percent, bringing the five-day slump to 4.8 percent. The Bloomberg GCC 200 Index decreased 0.7 percent and Bahrain’s measure fell 0.4 percent. Qatar’s QE Index gained 0.2 percent, Kuwait’s Stock Exchange Price Index rose 0.5 percent and Oman’s benchmark stock index advanced 0.9 percent.